MB Subba

The government has not awarded a contract for the Digital Drukyul flagship programme, according to officials from the information and communications ministry.

In a press release issued on November 12, the Opposition sought name of the firm and its proprietor who had been awarded the contract to execute the Flagship Programme, Digital Drukyul, for the sake of transparency.

The Opposition also asked the government to make public the shareholders of Rigzom Academy, a private school in Paro, and the names of proprietors of firms that have been licensed to deal in electric cars.

Information and Communications Minister Karma Donnen Wangdi said that it was not true if the opposition felt that the project has been awarded to any of the ruling party workers.

He said that all would be able to see who gets the work when the time came.

A total of Nu 2.5 billion has been earmarked for the flagship programme in the 12th Plan.

There is no specific time on when the flagship programme will be officially launched.

“It does not happen by just installing a software. It will take some time as it’s a huge multi-component project that involves all ministries and agencies,” he said.

He said all the ministries and agencies will be involved in the project.

He said that there were redundancies and duplications of works. The programme, he said, would not only improve services but also link the whole country.

The ministry had earlier this year called tenders to develop the Digital Drukyul programme.

A few bidders had applied, but did not meet the criteria and the tender was cancelled, it was said.

“The initiative, with blessings of His Majesty The King in transforming the society into a digitally competitive and competent one, has been the government’s focus for the last one year,” the minister said.

In the first volume of the government’s annual magazine, The Executive, the government stated that with the information and communications ministry taking lead, it (Digital Drukyul) is going to be a ‘whole of government’ approach that will integrate different systems.

The flagship programme aims to remove the existing digital gap and ensure ICT relevance to all Bhutanese and standardize data quality, while enhancing its security and privacy components.

The programme is also aimed at improving ease of doing business, promote integrated public services and Improve access and quality of teaching and learning, according to the ministry.